Kuroda Kanbee

Kuroda Kanbee
Kuroda Yoshitaka (December 22, 1546 – April 19, 1604), other name Kuroda Kanbee, was a Japanese daimyo of the late Sengoku through early Edo-eras. Renowned as a man of great ambition, he was a chief strategist and an adviser to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Kuroda Yoshitaka was born in Himeji on December 22, 1546, the son of Kuroda Mototaka. The Kuroda clan are believed to have originated in Ōmi Province. Yoshitaka's grandfather Shigetaka brought the family to Himeji and took up residence at Gochaku Castle, east of Himeji-jo Castle.

Shigetaka served as a senior retainer of Kodera Masamoto, the lord of Himeji, and was so highly praised that Shigetaka's son Mototaka was allowed to marry Masamoto's adopted daughter and to use the Kodera name.

Yoshitaka succeeded to the family headship in 1567, the same year that he participated in the Siege of Inabayama Castle, when Oda Nobunaga defeated the Saito clan of Mino province. A few years later, with Toyotomi Hideyoshi spearheading the Oda clan's advance into the Chugoku region, he pledged loyalty to the Oda. Yoshitaka, together with the sickly Takenaka Hanbei, served as Hideyoshi's strategists and assisted in the campaign against the Mori clan.

Shortly before 1587, Yoshitaka was ordered by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to lead an attack into Kyushu. Along with him was the famous Christian daimyo Takayama Ukon. After seeing the thriving Christian population of Kyushu and under Ukon's influence, Yoshitaka was baptized with the name ドン・シメオン (Dom Simeão = Don Simeon). After a visit to the Jesuit-controlled port of Nagasaki, Toyotomi Hideyoshi became fearful of the powerful influence that Jesuits and the Christian daimyos wielded and in 1587 made his famous edict that expelled foreign missionaries and ordered all the Christian samurai under his rule to abandon their faith. While Takayama Ukon resisted the edict and lost his fief, Yoshitaka gave up his new religion and adopted a monk's habit calling himself Josui. Like Naito Joan, it is believed that Yoshitaka chosen his new name from "Josué", the Portuguese version of "Joshua". His most prominent act during his short time as a Christian was his arrangement to save a Jesuit mission from Bungo when the Christian daimyo of that province, Otomo Sorin, was under attack from the Shimazu clan.

Yoshitaka made an attempt to conquer the region of Kyushu during the Battle of Sekigahara, but this ended up in failure. After his son Nagamasa succeeded him, Yoshitaka died in 1604.